Her Majesty's DBS ReRestoration Update 2/2
Sorry to break up the update, but there is a new limit, so we do a 2 parter. Hopefully, this will be better than the ABC TV cutting of OHMSS into 2 parts with narration, from 1976. May the execs at ABC rot in Hades for that crime...
Here's a nice variety of plated parts that are of the proper clear cadmium finish. Very hard to find good platers these days, and the process using cadmium has become very expensive in California. Then again, just breathing is expensive here. The upper two circular items are locktabs for the front suspension bolts. They come unplated now from Aston, and you pay about $25 each for them. The relay box is a Lucas 6RA relay for the electric "Towne" horns. The DBS, and other polite automobiles of the period, feature a set of both Lucas electric horns, and, in the case of the Astons of the time, Fiamm Road Master air horns. There is a switch on the console to change from one to the other. A nice quirk of these cars.
Here is a situation that drives me nuts...original nut in on the bottom, and the modern, generic hardware store type nut on top. Aston no longer supplies the original hardware, which is maddening. Judges at concours events know what to look for, so restorers must find hardware wherever we can. I scour yards for Rover and Jaguar bits, an have a collection of original nuts and bolts. NOS (New Old Stock) hardware turns up on Ebay UK occasionally. I also sourced a British bike repair shop who has coffee cans filled with hardware. Most of it is Whitworth, so I have to try every nut on a sample bolt. Hours spent just to find maybe 3-4 correct nuts. Then, after all of that, the platers either lose a couple of them, or stupidly bake the nyloc nuts, ruining the insert. That has all happened to me too often..
A most unglamorous state of the rear bumper. Original bumpers on these cars were steel, and there are plenty of reproduction stainless versions out there. the correct finish, though, is chrome, and I want to save this original piece. You can see where my coachbuilder had to make a centre section, wit the 2 holes for the number plate illumination lamps. In order to achieve the correct profile, which was originally stamped in to the metal, I will be sculpting a hammer form to replicate that shape. We have about 200 hours just into the bumpers, and that is before chrome!
Best practice is to bring the bumpers to the chrome platers, and have them remove all of the plating before any work commences. Next, the steel can be welded, shaped, etc. Following that, the bumpers are block sanded, and layers of copper applied. The final step is the chrome, and a bit of polish after fitting.
Interesting note is that the DBS bumpers are not perfectly straight, from the factory, as they have an ever so slight upwards sweep which mirrors the shape of the car. Best seen with the metal bare.
Well, hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into the reality of restorations. i have also begun work on a 1967 Aston Martin DB6 project car, that someone began a restoration, and abandoned 11 years ago. It will be a fun forensic job just to locate all of the parts in barns, storage lots, closets, etc. It will be my greatest restoration challenge yet.
OHMSSDBS.com is also undergoing a revamp, with a new webmaster, and some fresh ideas. Will keep you posted.
Best wishes until next time,